Kelsey Kingery | Softball Director | Coach
As a 2010 Knoxville High School graduate, Kelsey was a five-time letter winner in softball. From the start of her eighth grade year to the end of her senior year, she was a Varsity starter for the Panthers. Kelsey was very versatile in her positions; not only was she an asset for her pitching, but she played center field, shortstop, and first base throughout her career as well. During her high school experience, she earned several awards including being twice named to the All-State honorable mention team, a two-time First Team Little Hawkeye Conference selection, Second Team All-Conference honors and honorable mention, and she was a captain for Knoxville her senior year. She still holds the school record for career homeruns (15) and most homeruns in a season (5). While in high school she also played basketball, volleyball, ran track and was even on the dance team where she was a captain for two years. Kelsey loves for her players to be multiple sport athletes.
Kelsey was recruited to play at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minnesota as an outfielder. During her freshman year she appeared in 28 games, starting in 13 while batting .256 and recording four doubles and two home runs. On April 9 vs MSU Moorhead she drove in a career-high six RBIs with two home runs tying for first with the most RBIs in a game for SMSU softball. SMSU hired a new coaching staff her sophomore career, and halfway through she decided to hang up her cleats. Kelsey then transferred to the University of Northern Iowa for the start of her junior year. She is a 2014 UNI graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design, in addition to a web development diploma and digital marketing certificate from DMACC in 2016. Throughout her college career she was continuously featured on the Dean’s list and was a student ambassador at SMSU in addition to having a graphic design mentorship with the SMSU athletic department.
Currently she works for the Stelter Company in Urbandale as a graphic designer in addition to being a freelance designer and creating the branding for the Iowa Angels organization while handling their marketing.
Garret Grove | Coach
Garret Grove will joke and say he is known as the “Triplets’ Brother”, but in the world of baseball the opposite is true. Garret has been a force on the field by his own right. As a dominating force on the mound, he has been consistently clocked throwing over 90 mph, even as he weighed a mere 160lbs.
In high school, Garret lettered all 4 years as a varsity pitcher, first taking the mound as a freshman. At Southeast Polk High School, he recorded the highest strikeout percentage, as well as several shut-out games. His senior year, he helped lead Southeast Polk to their first state championship, solidifying his spot in the school’s hall of fame. That year, he pitched in many crucial games, leading the pitching staff with the lowest ERA of 1.92. His reign was further cemented when he pitched in the semi-finals for the state championship. As the underdog against the favored Iowa City West, Garret led the team to a victory from the mound taking his team to the championship.
Garret had several choices in which to pursue a career in college pitching, but after some personal decisions he chose to continue baseball at Iowa Central Community College. At ICC he pitched as a freshman, even throwing a no-hit against Grand View College. The no-hit was a perfected game until the last inning in which an error was made on a bunt.
At ICC Garret pursued a career in Criminal Justice and Computer Science. After some personal decisions, Garret decided to come back to Des Moines after his freshman year. He now works at MG Masonry, although planning to continue his education at a later date.
While his passion for playing may be in the realm of baseball, his passion for coaching has been in softball. He has taught both baseball and softball lessons since high school and coached for 4 years as a successful USSSA softball coach, including our 10U Angels team in the 2017-2018 season.
His favorite quote and coaching philosophy is, “ hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”
Additional Staff Instructors
Steviee Grove | Softball Hitting/Catching/Fielding
Steviee went to Indianola High School and played for the IA Pride, St. Louis Mizuno, and Kansas City Xtreme throughout her teenage years. She was selected as an Adidas Future All-Star, along with being the Most Valuable Player in the ASA 18U Gold Regionals in 2010. She was registered at a 1.62 pop-time. She continued her softball career at Indiana State University upon graduation. As a freshman she played in 20 games, while starting 16 of them. Steviee was also a recipient of the Indiana State 2011 Johnson Political Science Award, becoming the first freshman in Indiana State history to receive this honor. She then transferred to the University of Iowa in the spring of her sophomore year. Her junior year she had an at bat against Jackie Traina, the Ace for No.1 Alabama that year. Unfortunately she came down with mono during the spring season, and chose not to redshirt in order to pursue her dreams of becoming a lawyer in a timely manner. Steviee’s senior year was at William Penn University where she was the starting catcher/DH and played in all 56 games. She helped lead the team to a MCC Conference Title, MCC Conference Tournament Title, and an appearance to NAIA Nationals. Throughout her college years she was continuously on the Dean’s List and President’s List. All four years she received the NFCA NAIA All-America Scholar Athlete. In 2013, she was honored with being an All-Academic Big Ten Selection. Upon graduating from William Penn University, she achieved a degree majoring in Political Science and was accepted into Drake University Law School. She graduated from Drake in May 2017, and became a licensed attorney October 2017.
Steviee was a volunteer assistant softball coach at PCM High School. She has coached various select softball teams, and given multiple catching and hitting lessons throughout the years. She currently works as an Assistant County Attorney for Wapello County.
Gary Grove | Softball Hitting/Fielding
Gary comes from a bloodline of athletic history. His father, Donald Grove, was drafted to the Chicago Cubs before WWII struck. Gary dominated in Motocross, and quickly climbed to the top at the professional level. However, once he started a family, his racing days ceased. Then he built a successful masonry business that had over one hundred employees during its’ prime time.
Gary has the most coaching experience of the IA Angels staff. He started coaching softball when his daughters were only five years old, and he hasn’t let up since. Gary has coached for over 20 years. Throughout this time, he has attended multiple lessons, clinics, practices, and camps in the fast-pitch industry to increase his knowledge of the game. He has learned from some of the best around, including: Mike Mahoney (MLB catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals), Brent Vigness (Head Softball Coach at Creighton University), Mike Christner (Head Softball Coach at William Penn University), and Ben Blake (Baseball Coach at Simpson University and brother of Casey Blake who played for the Cleveland Indians). Gary values all aspects of softball, but his specialty is hitting. Before he coached Abby Gilson (player for Northwest Missouri State), she had hit only 2 homeruns in her high school career. In one season, Gary took her from only hitting 2 homeruns, to breaking the school record at 10 homeruns in a single season.
Gary has made a difference in multiple lives; on and off the softball field. He has coached many girls throughout the ages, and helped them to the next level. The names listed below are just a few examples:
- Malloree Grove – Creighton University, University of Iowa, William Penn University
- Brittanee Grove – Creighton University, University of Iowa, William Penn University
- Steviee Grove – Indiana State University, University of Iowa, William Penn University
- Garret Grove – Iowa Central Community College – clocked at throwing 93mph
- Kristine Labertew – Northwest Missouri State
- Abby Gilson – Northwest Missouri State
- Shelby Feldt – Iowa Central Community College, Morningside University
- Sarah Bowen – Central College
- Natalie Vasquez – Neumann University
- Morgan Franklin – Luther College
- Brooke Berkey – Buena Vista University
- Brooke French – Wayne State University
- Ryan Bracken – Hendrix College
- Ashley Burrows – Luther College
- Megan Bolton – Marshalltown Community College, Mount Mercy University
- Kelsey Miller – Bellevue University
Gary is constantly teaching and encouraging kids at all ends of the spectrum. He loves the game of softball and will continue giving back to this wonderful sport.
Mal Grove | Softball Hitting/Pitching/Fielding
Mal attended Creighton University upon graduating from Indianola High School in 2010. She was originally recruited as a shortstop, however, she started at third base in 32 of 43 games she played in as a freshman. She then transferred to the University of Iowa, where her sophomore year she started the final 28 games of the season in right field. Junior year for the Hawkeyes she batted .1000 with 4 RBI’s (only had one at-bat against Drake and it was a Grand Slam). She was an Academic All-Big Ten Honoree and made the Dean’s List as well. Finally her senior year she attended William Penn University. Mal started all 56 games at third base while batting .333 as the lead-off hitter for the season. She helped lead the team to a MCC Conference Title, MCC Conference Tournament Title, and an appearance to NAIA Nationals. She was First-Team All-Conference, and made the Dean’s and President’s List at William Penn University with a 4.0. She was also 2013-14 NFCA NAIA All-America Scholar Athlete. December 2014, she graduated with a degree in Sports Administration. Mal was granted the opportunity to increase her knowledge of the game as a graduate assistant coach under Coach Mike Christner and Steph Christner at William Penn University for the 2015 season. She now owns a masonry business by the name of MG. Masonry, Inc.
Mal has been coaching and giving lessons for the last seven years. She was the Head Varsity Softball Coach at PCM High School, the Head Varsity Basketball Coach at Twin Cedars High School, and the Assistant Varsity/Head Junior Varsity Softball Coach for Knoxville High School. She is also helping her sister out at Des Moines North High School as an assistant coach. Mal has coached various travel fastpitch teams throughout the years, and has given multiple lessons.
Brittanee Grove | Softball Hitting/Pitching/Fielding
At Creighton University Brittanee started 29 games as a freshman at first base then transferred to the University of Iowa where she suffered a wrist injury to her dominant hand and had to redshirt her junior year. Doctors told her she would never be able to throw a softball or even pitch again and she didn’t accept that fate. She finished her last two years at William Penn University where she pitched and hit her way to becoming a first team All-American. The year after her redshirt year she ended her season with a batting average of .444 and a slugging percentage of .864. She had 16 doubles 2 triples and 17 homeruns. Her most proud and memorable moment was winning the conference championship and heading to compete in Nationals. She tied the homerun record and feels very grateful to her wonderful coaches Mike Christner and Steph Christner for helping her reach her full collegiate softball potential. Currently, Brittanee is a 4th grade teacher at Willard Elementary in the Des Moines Public School District and is about to take on her first year as head softball coach at North High School.
Brittanee’s career accomplishments included:
- NAIA first team All-American
- NFCA First team All-American
- Midwest Collegiate Conference Player of the Year
- 2 time MCC Player of the week
- 1st team Academic All-American CoSida winner
- 2 time 1st team All Region
- 2 time 1st team All Midwest Collegiate Conference
- William Penn April 2015 Player of the Month
- Holds the homerun record at William Penn for most homeruns in a season at 17
- Multiple academic accomplishments such as the Dean’s and President’s list
Brit has coached various travel ball teams and has been giving hitting, pitching, and fielding lessons for the last seven years. She has also coached at Pleasantville High School as the Assistant Varsity Softball Coach, and Twin Cedars High School as the Assistant Varsity Basketball coach.
Evan Romanchuk | Baseball/Softball Hitting
Evan grew up in Vancouver, Canada, and his senior year in high school he was a member of the Canadian Baseball National Championship team. He went on to Santa Rosa Junior College where he was a member of 2005 California State Championship team. Evan went on to play at San Francisco State University where he led his team in hitting his junior year and graduated with a degree in Psychology. Evan went on to play professionally in the Golden and Continental Leagues and also played a year professionally in Belgium. Evan was a member of the Great Britain National Team, which played in 2009 Baseball World Cup. During lessons, Evan really focuses not just on the mechanical part of baseball but also the mental side of the game.
Chris Zrostlik | Baseball/Softball Hitting and Fielding
Chris grew up in Surprise, Arizona where he attended Willow Canyon High School. Chris was named First Team All-Region during his junior and senior season as well as First Team All-State during his senior season. After high school he attended Glendale Community College in Glendale, Arizona where he played for NJCAA Hall of Fame Coach Dave Grant. Chris was named an ACCAC All-Star as a freshman. He continued his playing career at Truman State University where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science with a concentration in Strength and Conditioning. While at Truman State, Chris led the team in homeruns and RBI’s during his junior year and tied a school record for most hits during a game when he went 5 for 5 with 2 homeruns and 7 RBI’s.
Blake Marchant | Baseball/Softball Hitting and Catching
Blake is from Indianola, IA and attended Grand View University for 4 years. At Grand View, Blake was selected as the 2013 Midwest Collegiate Conference Player of the Year, 2013 2nd team All-American, and he was a 2014 Preseason All-American. Blake was also a 3x All-Conference selection. Blake compiled a career stat line of .330, 174 hits, 125 RBIs and 11 HRs.
Mike Mahoney | Baseball/Softball Hitting and Catching
Mike is the Co-Owner of SportsPlex West and lead hitting and catching instructor at SPW. Mike is a Des Moines native and has numerous years of playing and coaching experience. He attended and played baseball at Creighton University then went to the professional baseball level. He has played for the Braves, Cubs, Cardinals, and Blue Jays organizations. In 2007, Mike was a catching instructor for the Iowa Cubs here in Des Moines. He is the best catching and hitting coach in the Des Moines area.